By Chris Marchand
In these times of global conflict and escalating rhetoric, Canadian Muslims often feel like they’re facing an uphill struggle to convey the true teachings of their faith to a polarized public.
Dryden Library played host to a coast-to-coast traveling exhibition launched by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada to talk with interested community members about perceptions of Islam.
“We’re here to remove the misconceptions that are there around Islam,” said Misbah Tariq. “Because of a tiny percentage of extremists, it seems like every other Muslim is marked as a terrorist. We want to show what the real Islam is, we want people to get to know us.”
Speaking to a crowd of about 20 community members Tariq Azeem spoke of the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the teachings of the Holy Quran.
Originally from Germany and now a resident of Lloydminister, AB for the past year and a half, Misbah Tariq says that there is a significant difference in perception of Islam between small town Canada and urban centres where one is more likely to have a Muslim neighbor.
“In small towns, there are very few Muslims,” said Tariq. “In Canada, I’ve seen, the people are very open-minded and tolerant. They’re welcoming. I haven’t seen that in Germany in quite this way.”